Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Denver: 9 Awesome Adventures with Your Floof



Kelsey Leicht

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Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Denver

Ready to dig into the Mile High City with your doggo at your side? Try some dog-friendly activities in Denver. Whether you’re a fan of exploring the city’s urban areas or love scaling rural routes by foot, there’s something for every pup parent.

Below, we’ll share Denver’s best dog-friendly activities, from grabbing brews with your barker to taking to the trail.

Potential Pittie Problems

Denver’s breed-specific legislation makes finding fun with pit bulls and other bully breeds challenging. A breed-restricted permit is required to own these cuties in the city, and several businesses outright ban these barkers from visiting.

If you plan on visiting Denver with your pit bull, look into these laws in advance to be sure you comply. An in-person evaluation is required, which certainly complicates matters.

9 Best Dog-Friendly Activities in Denver

Dogs resting with owner while looking at the view

Denver is a paradise for paw-friendly fun, suiting petite puppies and silver seniors alike. Let’s run through the best dog-friendly activities in Denver to find your next adventure. 

1. Grab a cold one with your canine

People having drinks on sidewalk with dog on leash

Sometimes, all you need is to kick back and relax with your Rover. Why not grab a drink at one of Denver’s many dog-friendly bars

Many dogs love this kind of social outing, as it gives them a chance to sniff, hear, and see things they normally wouldn’t. Plus, many dog-friendly bars roll out the red carpet for Rovers, by providing complimentary water bowls and, in some cases, mutt-safe mocktails! 

Just remember to keep the booze to yourself and only visit if your canine’s well-trained and friendly with all dogs and people –  not all dogs are great fits for bar hopping

Want to safely share your love of brews with your best fur friend?

Try a DIY non-alcoholic dog beer recipe!  You can serve this canine concoction on its own or add it to kibble for a tasty splash of extra hydration.

2. Have a hike with your hound

Woman walking dog on hiking trail

Denver is an outdoor lover’s oasis, with countless trails within a quick drive to explore with your adventure buddy. Short ventures on level ground are great for older dogs and puppies, while longer outings across varying terrain suit active adult woofs. 

Though these trails are all fun, we recommend leashed walks and sticking to daytime hours, considering Denver’s population of cougars, bears, and coyotes.

Need some suggestions? We’ve got ya covered!

Check out three of the best dog-friendly hikes in Portland:

Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park

About: Located 35 minutes west of the city, this park has over 12 miles to explore on the Bear Creek Trail of varying difficulty. All visiting dogs must be leashed on a lead 10 feet or less long.

Address: 22550 CO-74, Idledale, CO 80453

Phone Number: (303) 271-5925

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM
  • The mix of dirt and rocky terrain can get messy, so pack a towel for post-hike cleanup
  • Some local parks have seasonal closures for wildlife, so always check the park status before visiting
  • While there is a nearby water source, we recommend bringing fresh water for your floof

Red Rocks Trail at Red Rocks Park

About: Also known as Denver Mountain Park, this 868-acre outdoor area has several trails of various difficulties and terrains, so study your map carefully to select what works best for you and your doggo. Keep your pup leashed and scoop his poop at this scenic stomping ground 30 minutes southwest of the city.

Address: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO, US, 80465

Phone Number: 303-697-4939

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • The trail is relatively narrow, so this location is best for pups who are people and dog-friendly with excellent leash manners
  • Red soil can get super messy (and too hot for paws in hot weather!)
  • Pack water for you and your woofer and plenty of poop bags

South Valley Park

About: Situated a half hour south of the city, South Valley Park features primarily flat dirt trails for hiking with your pooch. Enjoy stunning views of surrounding rock structures, but pack water and sun protection, as you and your floof need to stay hydrated and safe, as there’s little shade.

Address: 12447 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO 80127

Phone Number: (303) 271-5925

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • All dogs must be on leashes measuring ten feet or less
  • Scoop your pup’s poop or face a fine
  • All hikers must remain on the trails

3. Visit a bakery with your best fur friend

Dog wearing party hat eating cake

Have a four-footer who loves to eat? Why not venture to one of Denver’s dog-friendly bakeries and spoil him with a tasty snack he can pick out himself? These outings are a perfect rainy day or winter activity for people and their pups.

Here are three of our favorite dog-friendly bakeries in Portland:

Three Dog Bakery

About: With dog-safe goodies baked fresh onsite, Three Dog Bakery is a great place to scoop up top-notch terrier eats with your woof, from seasonal eats to canine cupcakes. Choose from grain-free and grain-inclusive snacks, including crunchy cookies, soft treats, and meaty bits.

Address: 1503 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211

Phone Number: 303-477-0844

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM from Monday to Saturday and 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Sunday
  • All recipes feature natural ingredients like apples, blueberries, and cranberries
  • Be sure to order ahead for cakes

Biscotti Hound Dog Biscuit Bakery

About: Make your mutt’s day with a scrumptious snack from this Denver doggy bakery known for its crunchy biscuits in flavors like apple, carob, and pumpkin. Just be sure to call ahead, as visits are by appointment only.

Address: 4128 Hooker Street, Denver, CO 80211

Phone Number: (303) 877-2704

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM from Monday to Saturday and 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM Sunday
  • Canine cakes must be ordered 24 hours in advance
  • Goodies are available for pickup or they can be shipped to your home

Two Pals & a Pup

About: Two Pals & a Pup is a barker boutique and bakery specializing in canine carrot cakes, pupcakes, and treats. They also carry locally-sourced goodies, like birthday bones and uniquely decorated doggy cookies.

Address: 2800 East 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Phone Number: (303) 350-4498

Website / Social:  

Special Notes:

  • Hours are 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM from Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Sunday
  • You can join their mailing list for pup-pleasing promotions
  • The bakery carries other canine gear like food, toys, and apparel 

4. Dine with your doggo

Dog sitting outside restaurant with two people

Work up an appetite during your mile-high adventures? Why not visit one of Denver’s dog-friendly restaurants.

Dinner with your dog can be a great way to enjoy a night out for yourself without having to make the pup wait at home alone. Many of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Denver provide comfy places for you and your pup to sit, and some even offer dog-friendly menu items so your fur kiddo can dine while you do. 

Just be sure that your Rover is a good candidate for a restaurant visit – not all dogs will enjoy this kind of outing. Reactive dogs will often find restaurant visits too stressful, and shy pups may be overwhelmed by all the people, pooches, and activity. 

Bottom line: This activity is best for well-mannered woofs who’re friendly with new people and dogs.

5. Dash to the Dog Park

Two people sitting on bench with dogs

Have a social butterfly floof with energy to burn? Visit one of Denver’s best dog parks to stretch his legs and meet new mutt friends. These are great options for active dogs who need off-leash time.

Just make sure that you consider your dog’s personality before heading out for this kind of Rover romp session – dog parks aren’t a great fit for all four-footers. Dogs who are shy, undersocialized, or dog-selective may cause problems or just have a bad time.

Also, be sure to bone up on your dog-park etiquette 101. This means doing things like cleaning up after your pooch, leaving toys and treats at home, and ensuring that your dog is fully vaccinated.  

6. Set out for a swim with your sniffer. 

Dog shaking off water near lake

Water-loving woofs would love a dip, and Denver has several top-notch hangouts allowing for doggy paddle parties. Best of all, dogs of any age can enjoy swimming, including senior sniffers, as the activity’s pretty easy on the ‘ol joints.

Don’t know where to start? Check out these awesome swimmin’ holes for Spot near Portland:

Union Reservoir

About: Cruise about 35 miles north of the city for outdoor swimming fun with your Fido at this 736-acre stretch of water. Your pup’s free to roam off-leash within the designated doggy beach, complete with a sandy shore and full fencing to keep your canine contained as he plays.

Address: 461 Co Rd 26, Longmont, CO 80504 

Phone Number: (303) 772-1265

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Hours vary seasonally, mirroring a sunrise-to-sunset schedule year-round
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
  • Hiking trails are available within the park for more four-legged fun
  • All dogs must be leashed when outside designated off-leash areas
  • All dogs must be licensed and vaccinated to enjoy the park
  • Limit of 3 dogs per handler

Canine Fitness and Fun Center

Canine Fitness and Fun Center
Image from Destpet

About: Choose between group swims and private sessions at this paw-friendly center’s indoor pool. Heated and filtered, this pool is open year-round and treated with dog-safe chemicals to keep bacteria at bay.

Address: 5390 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80222

Phone Number: (720) 902-7298

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Open every day from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Each private swim session lasts 20 minutes and comes with a freshwater rinse and towel-drying session
  • Group swims are $18.00, while private swims come in at $32.00  
  • Lifeguard on standby to keep doggy paddlers safe
  • Dog life vests are also available onsite
  • Unfortunately, pit bulls are not allowed to join in the fun
  • Dogs must be up-to-date on rabies, distemper, and Bordetella 

Jasper’s Splash Zone

About: While located 20 miles north of the city, Jasper’s Splash Zone is worth the drive with its two indoor and outdoor saltwater heated pools. These swim spaces can be used for everyday paddling fun or dock diving, a high-flying canine sport that’s perfect for active pups.

Address: 1720 Majestic Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026

Phone Number: (720) 316-6054

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • You must make an appointment to enjoy the pools
  • Pricing varies by type of water activity, starting at $47 per indoor 30-minute swim session
  • Pricing includes up to 2 dogs per household
  • Onsite lodging, doggy daycare, and DIY dog washing are available 
  • The location also holds seminars and classes for learning more about making the most of the water with your woof
  • Life vests are available for dogs learning their way around the wet stuff
  • Toys provided to make water time more fun

7. Go sightseeing with your schnauzer.

Woman walking dog in city sidewalk

Get to know Denver with your doggo by taking in the city’s landmarks. Perfect for exercising your Rover’s brain and body, visiting new dog-friendly areas offers a unique canine enrichment experience full of fresh sights, sounds, and smells. This activity is best for confident dogs who have great leash manners and an affinity for other people and pets. 

Check out these great places you and Scraps can take in some spectacular scenery near Portland:

Cheesman Park

About: Stroll through this Denver neighborhood with your leashed pup and see the area’s classic architecture and green space. Once you’ve had your fill of history, head into the nearby 80-acre park with trails and greenery to explore.  

Address: 1599 E 8th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Phone Number: N/A

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Dogs aren’t allowed in the Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Several area eateries and coffee shops allow pups on the patio (always double-check a place’s dog-friendly status in advance)
  • Pack water and poop bags

Denver Free Walking Tours

About: Romp around the city on foot with your dog and other sightseers with this free service. Pick your timeslot using the online scheduler, and show up at your designated time with your leashed travel buddy to learn more about the city. 

Address: 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203 (meet on Capitol Building steps)

Phone Number: (720) 372-3849

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Available June to October daily, Offered Friday to Sunday at 10:00 AM from November to April
  • Runs as a pay-what-you’d-like model (free or whatever price you choose to pay)
  • Each tour lasts 2 to 2.5 hours and covers 1.7 walked miles through some of Denver’s top sites, like the Carnegie Library and Art Museum
  • Each tour follows a wheelchair-accessible path
  • Only operates when temperatures are above 20℉
  • Dogs only permitted to attend the daytime tours

Denver Terrors

About: Embrace all things haunted with your hound at this ghost-themed walking tour around the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver. The tour lasts about an hour and covers a mile with eight stops filled with bone-tingling ghost stories. Just be sure to potty your pup ahead of time!

Address: 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203

Phone Number: (844) 757-5657 (emailing via the site is preferred)

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Non-disruptive, well-behaved dogs are welcome 
  • Times vary by ticket schedule
  • Unfortunately, most of the areas covered are not wheelchair accessible
  • Extended tours lasting 90 minutes and stretching 1.5 miles are also available
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your tour
  • Great evening activity to switch up your schedule
  • No smoking or videotaping allowed

8. Shop ‘till you drop with your canine companion.

Dog in a bandana lying in front of store

Itching for a good deal with your barkin’ bargain hunter? Head to one of these fur-friendly shops to scoop up great buys and up your sniffer’s step count. Since these are busy places with plenty of people, pets, and food, they’re recommended for trained canines free of selective behaviors. 

Need a little retail therapy with your ruffer? Check out these dog-friendly shopping spots near Portland:

16th Street Mall

About: Stroll the outdoor portion of this 1.25-mile strip of shops and take in the ambiance with your leashed mutt. Several stores allow canines indoors, too, but policies vary by the owner, so always check in advance. 

Address: 1001 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80265

Phone Number: (303) 534-6161

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Mall is open 24 hours; store hours vary by shop
  • Paved walking surfaces can get hot in warm weather
  • Open-air, so not ideal for rainy days

The Shops at Northfield

The Shops at Northfield
Image from Facebook

About: Take in the fresh air and grab some deals with your leashed doggo at this outdoor menagerie of shops, including several that allow four-footers inside. With plenty of restaurants and kiddos, this is a hangout for trained woofs comfortable sharing space or food with others.

Address: 8340 Northfield Blvd, Denver, CO 80238

Phone Number: (303) 375-5475

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Open 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday
  • Seasonal pet-friendly events like pictures with the Easter Bunny and Santa
  • Paved walking areas can get hot in the summer
  • Open-air style walking, so skip in rainy weather

Cherry Creek North

About: With 16 walkable blocks of stores to explore, Cherry Creek North offers the perfect shopping experience with your pooch. While not every business welcomes woofs inside, you can search the dog-friendly ones on the center’s easy-to-navigate website, letting you plan a pawsome day with your pupperoni.

Address: 2401 E. 2nd Ave, Suite 150 Denver, CO 80206

Phone Number: (303) 394-2904

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • All pups must be well-mannered and leashed
  • Pet-friendly businesses include Lou Collective, Haven, and Bee & Pollen
  • Dog-friendly activities include the Dog Days of Summer
  • The open-air setup is best for sunny days
  • Carry poop bags to clean up after your pooch

9. Work on your floof’s fitness.

Denver makes getting your dog more exercise easy, with numerous canine sports facilities within driving distance. Most are open in cold weather, too, allowing you to get your dog indoor exercise during the winter!

Here are a few of the best canine sports centers near Portland:

Earthdog Denver

Earthdog Denver
Image from Earthdog Denver

About: Increase your dog’s exercise at this pupper play place offering an 11,000 square-foot outdoor area with tunnels and a mutt mountain, a 10,000-gallon pool, and 2,300 square feet of indoor space. Rent the entire dog park for just your dog and his pals for $175 an hour within a designated window, or enjoy group gatherings like the small dog meetup, where your petite pooch can mix and mingle with other pups his size.

Address: 370 Kalamath Street, Denver, CO 80223

Phone Number: (303) 534-8700

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Daycare, boarding, and a self-serve dog wash are available onsite
  • All dogs must be up-to-date on rabies, distemper, and Bordetella
  • Dogs older than six months must be spayed or neutered 
  • Children under ten aren’t allowed in the park
  • By-appointment setup

Denver Paw School

About: Visit the indoor gym of this dog training school where your pawed pal can practice on provided basic agility equipment. Ideal for four-footers getting started in the sport or apartment-dwelling doggos needing some off-leash time, this facility offers a private space that suits shy sniffers or dog-selective cuties.

Address: 1165 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80210

Phone Number: (303) 578-8701

Website / Social: 

Special Notes:

  • Rentals by appointment only
  • Only 3 dogs or fewer permitted per half-hour play session
  • All dogs must be current on rabies, distemper, and Bordetella vaccines
  • Gym rental is $22 per half hour
  • You can also sign up for training classes 

K9 Fit Club

K9 Fit Club
Image from Facebook

About: This innovative fitness concept lets you exercise with your woof. Available by email signup only, class sizes are limited to just four participants, allowing you to bond with your barker and squeeze in a killer workout using provided equipment.

Address: 8235 W. 20th Street Greeley Co 80634, Greeley, CO

Phone Number: (970) 330-7283

Website / Social: / 

Special Notes:

  • All attending dogs must be friendly with people and other dogs
  • Dogs must be up-to-date on rabies, distemper, and Bordetella vaccines
  • Attending dogs must have a form completed by a vet noting current heartworm prevention, flea/tick prevention, and a fecal clearance
  • Dogs must be on a 4- to 6-foot lead with a buckle collar or harness (no pinch or choke collars allowed)
  • Only positive reinforcement training is allowed

Dog-Friendly Activity Etiquette

Dogs perched on rock in forest

Minding your mutt manners is a must when enjoying dog-friendly activities in Denver, as nothing’s worse than accidentally being a rude Rover parent. 

Among other things, being a good pet parent means doing the following: 

  • Clean up your dog’s poop: Pack more poop bags than you need and use them. Scooping poop keeps public spaces nice and hygienic for everyone. Not only is cleaning up after your dog the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.
  • Clean up your pup’s messes: Along with poop, dogs leave all sorts of messes behind, from chewed items to dug holes, and yes, pee. Always leave areas how you found them. If your dog lifts his leg indoors, clean it up. Similarly, tidy the mess if he digs a hole or shreds something.
  • Treat other people and pets with kindness: We know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone likes dogs, so keep your sniffer close and respect other people’s space. This includes giving other dogs room, too — not all dogs want to be touched.
  • Watch your dog: Public spaces aren’t doggy daycares. Put your smartphone away and monitor your mutt. Don’t let him jump all over other people or destroy property.
  • Follow the rules: Rules aren’t suggestions, and they apply to everyone. If a sign says “no dogs” or “no food,” respect it. Similarly, posted hours should be honored. 
  • Leash your dog: Unless your dog is in a designated off-leash area, he should be on a leash that’s 6 feet or less in length. Short leashes are better in tighter spaces like shops, as they give you plenty of control and keep your canine close.
  • Only venture out with happy, healthy, and trained dogs: Sick dogs belong at home, and dogs who are reactive, dog-selective, or people-shy shouldn’t be put in situations that risk the safety of others. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many owners put scared dogs into stressful situations. 
  • Pick an activity that suits your dog: Not every dog is a social butterfly or keen on every dog-friendly activity. For instance, a nervous Newfoundland likely won’t enjoy a busy day at the shops, much like a mobility-challenged mastiff isn’t suited for a long hike. Focus on activities that suit your dog’s interests more than yours.
  • Be responsible for your dog’s actions: If your dog destroys something, you’re liable for paying for it, just like you’re responsible if your dog bites someone or another dog. To prevent a costly hiccup, keep your dog close and avoid situations that risk a problem.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, as public places are unpredictable. Expect the unexpected when enjoying dog-friendly activities in Denver, and remember to be patient and have a bit of humor. Your dog might poop at an inopportune time, much like you may need more than one bag to clean up. Plan ahead and pack for surprises.

Most of all, have fun!

Have you enjoyed any of our picks for the best dog-friendly activities in Denver? Is there another four-footed adventure we missed that you and your sniffer adore? Tell us about it in the comments. We’d love to hear about it!

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Written by

Kelsey Leicht

Kelsey is a lover of words and woofs. She worked hands-on with dogs for several years at a boarding kennel as a shift runner and office manager before venturing into the world of writing. She lives in New Jersey with her crew of crazy canines.

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